Karen Bass

‘I'm Ready': Rep. Karen Bass Announces a Run for LA Mayor

Karen Bass currently represents California's 37th Congressional District, which includes Los Angeles neighborhoods west and southwest of downtown.

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Rep. Karen Bass is planning to run for mayor of Los Angeles in the 2022 election.

Bass made her official announcement Monday morning.

"With my whole heart, I'm ready," Bass said in a tweet. "Let's do this -- together. I'm running for mayor."

The Los Angeles Times, citing three people familiar with Bass' plans, reported the story Friday morning. The Washington Post, citing two people with knowledge of the situation, also reported that Bass is planning to run.

A statement on her campaign web site cited Los Angeles' homelessness crisis as a major motivation for running.

"Today Los Angeles faces another emergency. A public health and humanitarian crisis: homelessness," the statement said. "Forty thousand people sleep on the streets of LA every night – more than in any other city in the nation.


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"Karen is running for Mayor because she knows that solving this crisis means addressing the root causes of homelessness: lack of affordable housing, health care, job training, mental health services, and drug and alcohol counseling.

"Today’s homelessness crisis demands urgent attention to root causes, not just surface-level fixes or divisive talking points by politicians.

"There are no simple answers, but Karen has the experience, values, and support to get the job done."

Bass, a Democrat representing Los Angeles, has been facing public pressure to run for mayor following the Aug. 23 release of a poll by a California-based public opinion research firm found that more than a quarter of a sample of the city's Democrats supported Bass against current and potential candidates for mayor in the 2022 election.

If Bass were to be elected mayor, she would be Los Angeles' first female mayor and only the second Black mayor, after Mayor Tom Bradley. Bradley led the city from 1973 to 1993.

Bass represents California's 37th Congressional District, which includes Los Angeles neighborhoods west and southwest of downtown. It includes the cities of Culver City and Inglewood.

"She's a national leader in Congress -- a job that has no term limits,'' Assemblyman Isaac Bryan, D-Los Angeles, tweeted Wednesday about a potential run from Bass. "Her running for mayor would be the greatest demonstration of love and commitment to the city I've ever seen ... and we need it.''

Mayor Eric Garcetti was selected earlier this year to serve as U.S. Ambassador to India. The move means an interim mayor may be appointed by the Los Angeles City Council until his current term ends in 2022.

Bass would not be the first sitting U.S. House of Representatives member to be elected mayor of Los Angeles, but she would be the first since 1953, when Rep. Norris Poulson was elected to lead the city. Then-reps. James Roosevelt, Alphonzo Bell and Xavier Becerra lost campaigns for mayor in 1965, 1969 and 2001, respectively.

Bass served as the chair of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2019 to 2021. In the lead up to the 2020 presidential election, she was considered as vice president for then-Democratic candidate President Joe Biden before he picked then-Sen. Kamala Harris, D-CA.

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